LA prosecutors will not bring felony charges for attack on comedian Chappelle

Los AngelesUpdated: May 06, 2022, 09:51 AM IST
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Chappelle appeared unscathed and went on with the show, ad-libbing jokes about the incident.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -Los Angeles prosecutors said on Thursday they would not file felony charges against the man accused of attacking comedian Dave Chappelle onstage.

The Los Angeles District Attorneys office said it would instead refer the case against 23-year-old Isaiah Lee to the city attorney`s office for possible misdemeanor charges.

"After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors determined that while criminal conduct occurred, the evidence as presented did not constitute felony conduct. The District Attorney’s Office does not prosecute misdemeanor crimes within the city of Los Angeles," a spokesman for the office said in a written statement.

Chappelle, 48, was tackled to the floor on Tuesday night during an appearance at the Hollywood Bowl arena by a suspect carrying a replica handgun containing a knife blade.

Both men fell to the ground before scrambling back to their feet, and the suspect darted away. After being chased briefly by Chappelle at first, he dodged a swarm of people for several seconds before they subdued him near the back of the stage.

Chappelle appeared unscathed and went on with the show, ad-libbing jokes about the incident.

The incident sparked immediate comparisons to a bizarre incident during the Academy Awards ceremony in March at which actor Will Smith smacked comic Chris Rock onstage.

A short time after the assault, Rock joined Chappelle onstage, took the microphone and quipped, "Was that Will Smith?"

Chappelle`s representatives said on Wednesday that he was fully cooperating with the police investigation.

"As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show," his spokesperson, Carla Sims, said in a statement on Wednesday, crediting Rock and fellow comedian-actor Jamie Foxx with helping to "calm the crowd."